Burning Sands (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

Burning Sands (2017)



Critic Consensus: Burning Sands covers familiar territory, but Trevor Jackson's layered performance and director/co-writer Gerard McMurray's empathetic approach help set it apart.

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Burning Sands takes you on a raw, voyeuristic journey of fraternity pledging through the eyes of one favored pledgee, who is torn between honoring a code of silence or standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing. Led by a breakthrough performance by Trevor Jackson, director Gerard McMurray's feature directorial debut brings an emotional honesty to the classic tale of "rites of passage" and the complicated bonds of brotherhood.

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Alfre Woodard
as Prof. Hughes
Trevante Rhodes
as Fernander
Steve Harris
as Dean Richardson
as Edwin
as Angel
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Critic Reviews for Burning Sands

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (7)

You definitely come away from the experience with very mixed feelings about what you've seen and how it was presented, which feels just about right for a story like this one.

March 10, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

There's something powerful even in its predictability-will things go too far? Does the Pope wear a pointy hat?-and in Jackson's fierce, quietly forceful performance.

March 9, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…

In the absence of a more dramatically dynamic approach to that awfully familiar subject matter, "Burning Sands" proves neither as incendiary nor as challenging as intended.

March 9, 2017 | Full Review…

McMurray successfully avoids stereotypes.

January 30, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Gerard McMurray's drama has more ambition than last year's hazing drama [Goat], as well as interesting racial undertones that the other film did not.

January 26, 2017 | Full Review…

The occasional heavy-handed or clumsy elements don't seriously impair a film whose high spirits, talented cast and luridly intriguing subject consistently entertain, even if they seldom truly surprise.

January 25, 2017 | Full Review…

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